east norriton - nurses at mercy suburban hospital ratified a new contract friday evening, averting a threatened strike.
the contract was approved 106-6.
the hospital agreed to salary increases that average six percent annually and limits the amount nurses will pay for health insurance.
the deal will cover four years.
the hospital also agreed to hire five additional nurses whose day-to-day assignments within the hospital will change according to need, according to a bill cruice of the pennsylvania association of staff nurses.
going into negotiations, nurses claimed they were understaffed in part because of a state-wide shortage of nurses.
"as our patient population has gotten sicker and demanded more attention," said beth doyle, president of mercy suburban general nurses association, "we've had less and less time to deliver vital nursing care."
in a written statement, berni friedman, an intensive care unit nurse at the hospital, said the goal was for the hospital to limit the number of patients they assign to a single nurse.
full story: hospital nurses' strike averted